The whiteout is on.
After digging out Friday from a storm that dropped several inches of snow, Minnesotans refueled the snowblowers and shook off the shovels for the aftermath of Saturday’s second, stronger storm.
Luckily, the new storm arrived on a day when driving was optional for many residents. Still, 140 crashes were reported around the state, with a fatal one near Foley, Minn., in Benton County, the State Patrol said.
By Sunday morning, the Twin Cities metro area is expected to have up to 8 inches of fresh snow, according to the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. A bit more snow is expected northeast of the metro area, into northern Wisconsin.
If that doesn’t get your attention, there might also be rumbling in the sky. “Thunder snow” is a possibility, most likely in the east metro, according to the Weather Service.
The snow will taper off overnight, but winds will pick up after midnight, gusting up to 25 to 30 miles per hour. That means blowing and drifting snow will imperil visibility, especially on wide-open country roads.
Saturday's fatal crash happened on Hwy. 23 and County Road 66 east of Foley about 5 p.m., the State Patrol said. A 77-year-old Foley man driving an SUV was killed as the eastbound vehicle failed to stop at a stop sign and was hit on the passenger side, the patrol said.
The man was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle with fatal injuries. The other driver, a 43-year-old Circle Pines man, was taken to St. Cloud Hospital with minor injuries.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported that almost all roads across the lower two-thirds of Minnesota were snow-covered and visibility was poor. Only northwestern Minnesota was free of snowfall.
The storm came on the heels of Thursday evening’s dump, which caused a harrowing Friday morning commute. Parking suddenly got more difficult, too. Minneapolis, St. Paul and many other cities declared snow emergencies Friday, and fresh declarations are possible after the current storm.
Some event cancellations were already announced Saturday morning. The Minnesota Music Educators Association All-State Bands & Orchestra performance at 2 p.m. Saturday at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis was called off because of travel safety concerns. The performance was to feature the top 300 high school instrumentalists from across the state.
“This is very disappointing for all the students, parents and teachers involved,” said Mary Schaefle, executive director of the Minnesota Music Educators Association. But she said the students were able to play one last time together in a farewell rehearsal Saturday morning.
Staff writers Jim Buchta and Pamela Miller contributed to this report.